Transcendence

The theological term that emphasizes the distinction of God from His creation, and His sovereign exaltation over it. In the popular phrase of Barth, God is "wholly other." He is not part of the universe. He is not the sum of the parts of the universe. He is not the soul of the universe. He is the eternal, uncreated, absolute, self-contained, self-existent, sovereign Creator by whose will and power all things exist. They depend on Him for their being; He depends on none.

Rejection of or rebellion against this essential truth lies at the root of many theological heresies. Pantheism, panentheism, liberalism, God-is-dead theology, process theology, and various forms of political theology show how truth perishes once we lose sight of the transcendence of God.

Cairns, A. (2002). In Dictionary of Theological Terms (p. 491). Belfast; Greenville, SC: Ambassador Emerald International.

Return to Index of Concepts and Definitions


Return to CRTA